Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Havana for fewer than 12 hours to officiate the reopening of the embassy that was closed in 1961 when the Eisenhower administration severed diplomatic ties with the government of then 34-year-old Fidel Castro. “It remains an unyielding dictatorship, a tragic example of the folly of communism, and an affront to the conscience of the free nations of the Western Hemisphere”.
While the three tracks will proceed simultaneously, Kerry said, Cuban leaders should not expect to see progress on the embargo without improvements in civil liberties in Cuba, which does not allow independent media, political parties other than the ruling communist party or direct election of anything but low-level municipal posts.
Photos of him in Havana Friday circulated back in Washington, stoking concern among critics of Obama’s Cuba policy that he is on the president’s shortlist for the ambassador appointment, knowledgeable sources told the Washington Examiner.
Gonzalez-Hastings believes the only way things will change is if Cuba’s communist government is overthrown.
Secretary of State John Kerry called for a “genuine democracy” in Cuba on Friday as the American flag was raised here for the first time in more than half a century, formally reopening the U.S. Embassy. Cellular phones were on fire, laptops in overdrive and the message to the world that Cuba and the United States had started a journey to become bedfellows yet again, had begun.
While the tone in U.S.-Cuban relations has improved greatly since detente was announced in December, the blunt statements and rebukes underscored how far the two countries are from normal relations after decades of hostilities that outlived the Cold War. Who has invaded all of the countries of Latin America, including Cuba?
But he also warned that the US would not stop pressing for political change in Cuba.
“This has been an extraordinary day, and I am honored to have been part of this historic ceremony”, said Blanco in a statement after the ceremony.
Giant Cuban flags were hanging from the balconies of nearby apartment buildings and people gathered at their windows with a view of the embassy.
Indeed, Cuba is taking its chance for solving the economic and social problems of the country within the framework of its revolutionary government, as Raul Castro mentions “this in no way means that the heart of the matter has been resolved” and as Fidel Castro assures that he “does not trust United States policies”.
“The accommodation of the Castro regime comes at the expense of the freedom and democracy that all Cubans deserve, but Secretary Kerry’s visit is especially insulting for Cuba’s dissidents”, Republican presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush said in a statement. Cuban dissidents weren’t invited to the morning ceremony at the embassy, but will attend a later reception and a second flag raising at the chief of mission’s residence. “It’s time to unfurl our flags and let the world know we wish each other well”.
Demonstrations in predominately Cuban-American populated Little Havana resulted in at least two arrests, according to CBS Miami. The United States has had 10 new presidents. The hard consequences of a 50-year embargo, the everlasting mistrust of Cubans, and the emerging criticisms from Latin American countries like Venezuela about restoration of US-Cuba relations are not the issues that could be solved by doing just some innovative and creative actions.